Vegan Sloppy Joe recipe

This mouth-watering BBQ sandwich is so packed full of yummy ingredients that you will not believe it’s a Vegan Sloppy Joe.

two buns stuffed with lentil sloppy Joe mixture

What is in Lentil Sloppy Joe Filling?

This Vegan Sloppy Joe recipe really just means – no animal products. No strange mushroom dust here.

Just simmer some lentils while you chop up onions, peppers, garlic, throw in corn, canned chilies and then spice it up with everything you’d expect to find in a BBQ sauce: ketchup, mustard, horseradish, tomato puree, honey and spices like cumin and smoked paprika.

Cook it all up in a bit of olive oil, stuff it into some big ole hamburger buns and top it off with sweet pickles.


Who knew eating healthy could be So delicious?

a turquoise ceramic measuring cup filled with dried lentils

Ingredients in Vegetarian Sloppy Joes:

  • dried lentils
  • red & green bell peppers
  • onion
  • garlic
  • corn
  • brown sugar
  • fresh prepared horseradish
  • diced green chilies
  • tomato puree
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • ketchup
  • honey
  • cumin, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper
  • hamburger buns or rolls
  • olive oil
  • bread and butter pickles or pickles of choice
a yellow ceramic bowl with a cup of corn being added to it

How to Cook Vegan Sloppy Joes:

  • soak lentils in simmering water while you chop the veggies
  • chop bell peppers, chop garlic and onions- mix together in a large bowl with corn and green chilies.
  • add in spices and sauce ingredients- ketchup, brown sugar, honey Worcestershire sauce etc.
  • drain the lentils and add to the mixture
  • sauté everything in a large pan with a bit of olive oil for 7-9 minutes.
  • fill your hamburger buns with the lentil filling and top with pickles
a large skillet of lentil sloppy Joe mixture
Cook the mixture until the veggies soften and its’ piping hot.

Equipment needed for this recipe:

  • large cutting board
  • sharp knife
  • large skillet- buy my favorite HERE
a large mason jar of tomato puree

Simple Shortcuts for Vegan Sloppy Joes:

  • This is a great meal prep recipe- chop the onions, garlic and peppers the day before. Soak the lentils in advance as well for a quick assembly.
  • Use frozen corn
  • canned lentils work great- just compare sodium levels between brands. Strain and sauté with the other ingredients
  • Make the sauce in advance and store in a mason jar in the fridge
  • measure out the spices- cumin, garlic powder, red peppers flakes, cayenne pepper, salt pepper and smoke paprika and keep in a small jar until needed.
  • Use a store bought BBQ sauce if you do not have time to make the one in the recipe.
a fellow bowl filled with chopped peppers and onion and a measuring spoon filled with red pepper flakes being added to the mixture

What to serve with Sloppy Joes:

a skillet of lentil sloppy Joe mixture next to a toasted bun with grill marks

Pro-tips for this Vegan Sloppy Joe Recipe:

  1. Chose a high quality burger bun for this recipe- it is messy- so give your self a big ole bun.
  2. If using canned lentils, drain and rinse well before adding to the other vegetables .
  3. Substitute cooked barley, wild rice or even pinto beans for a little variety.
  4. You can absolutely make this a beef sloppy joe recipe by adding in 1lb of lean ground beef.
  5. If Lentil Sloppy Joes aren’t your thing, add in beef or other legumes.
  6. Top this lentil sandwich with pickles, slaw or more BBQ sauce.
  7. Toast your hamburger bun to help it absorb the vegetable mixture
a large hamburger bun stuffed with a lentil sloppy how mixture

Vegan Sloppy Joe’s: Lentil and Veggie BBQ Sandwich Stuffer

Recipe by Meggen Arthur Wilson Course: Healthy, Main CourseCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





Craving a flavorful and satisfying sandwich? Try this Vegan Sloppy Joe recipe made with lentils, onions, peppers, and a homemade BBQ sauce.


  • 1/2 cup dry lentils, rinsed

  • 1 cup finely chopped red bell peppers

  • 1 cup finely chopped green bell peppers

  • 1 cup finely chopped onion

  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed

  • 3 TBSP ketchup

  • 2 TBSP brown mustard

  • 1 tsp fresh horseradish

  • 1 sm can diced green chilies

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 TBSP light brown sugar

  • 1 TBSP honey or agave

  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/2 cup tomato puree

  • 1 tsp cumin- heaping teaspoon

  • 1 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp pepper

  • dash cayenne pepper

  • 4 whole wheat hamburger buns, toasted

  • 2-3 olive oil

  • Bread and Butter pickles


  • Soak the LENTILS in clean water for 15 minutes while you prep the veggies. Drain the lentils and bring to a boil in medium saucepan filled with water. Simmer for 10 minutes. Drain, set aside.
  • In a large bowl combine the chopped ONIONS, PEPPERS, CHILIES, GARLIC, CORN, and LENTILS. Stir well to evenly distribute all the vegetables and beans.
  • In a large skillet, heat the OLIVE OIL over medium high heat. Add in the lentil & vegetable (Sloppy Joe) mixture.
    Sauté, stirring often until vegetables are softened and cooked through: about 7-10 minutes.
    Taste for seasonings and add more spices or salt and pepper if desired.
  • Serve the hot Sloppy Joe mixture on toasted BUNS with bread & butter PICKLES.


  • This mixture would be fantastic served on rice as well. Think of it as a conduit for so many things- roll it up in a wrap, sandwiches, rice, almost anything. Bake in into a casserole and just serve it alone or as a side dish.

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